Even ordinary items, such as rubber bands and spools, look great when they're turned into patterned labels for desktop containers. Here's how to make them.
- Empty container with a lid
- Photo scanner
- White or colored paper, or peel-and-stick paper
- Glue stick
- Utility knife
Decide which items you need to store.
Choose an empty container with a lid. Oatmeal or cigar boxes, clean cans, or plain tins from an art-supply store all work well. Check the size of your items to make sure they'll fit: Tall canisters are best for pencils; small boxes are good for buttons or beads.
Select items for the label, and place on the scanner. Try a few arrangements: You might lay the objects down randomly or line them up to make a border. Then scan the image into the computer. A parent can use photo-editing software to adjust the brightness or contrast of the image or to erase shadows.
Print the image onto white or colored paper, or onto peel-and-stick paper (it comes in many colors, as well as clear, and is available at office-supply stores).
Trim the printout to fit the size of the container. If using regular paper, apply a glue stick to the back of the label. Stick the label on the container, starting at one end and smoothing it out with your hand.
Kids can also create special containers to give as gifts. Make a bank for a friend by scanning coins onto a label for a powdered-drink canister, and have a parent cut a slit in the lid with a utility knife.
Use spools to decorate a biscuit tin for mom's sewing supplies. Or make an attractive box to hold a gift you're giving. For example, package art supplies in a cigar box decorated with images of paints, brushes, colored pencils, and scissors.Container CollectionsMatchboxes are just right for keeping collections of small objects because they come in a couple of sizes and are easily stacked and stored. Scan your favorite pieces for the label, and you'll have no trouble finding the box you want when you're ready to play with your collection or add to it.
Matchboxes are just right for keeping collections of small objects because they come in a couple of sizes and are easily stacked and stored. Scan your favorite pieces for the label, and you'll have no trouble finding the box you want when you're ready to play with your collection or add to it.